You’ve probably heard of Karina dresses. They’re known for being comfortable, easy to wear dresses that are work appropriate and available in a range of print styles. As this is my first time trying one of their pieces, I’m pleased to report that said reputation is well-founded. Let’s take a look at the original easy dress!
Karina Dresses are made in the USA, in the Hudson Valley in New York, more specifically. They’re made from a high quality micro-fibre blend of polyester and spandex that gives them plenty of stretch and breathable comfort; in their words,”this is not your 70s polyester!” That micro-fibre fabric, in addition to being easy to wear, is also wrinkle free, making it easy to care for as well, a blessing for this here lady who hates ironing and doesn’t much enjoy steaming either.
If, like me, you haven’t had any previous experience with Karina Dresses, you might find it helpful to start on their size guide page. This was useful to me not merely for figuring out what size I would be, but also because they have a handy list that describes the length, style and cut features of each dress type, and another chart that shows body types and which dresses are best suited to each. I like to have more fabric in my skirts than less, and I prefer said skirts to hit me on or below the knee, so their dress styles list helped me figure out what dresses would work best for my preferences. I am 5 ft 7, though, and as you can see from pictures this Ruby dress, described as ‘knee length,’ hits me noticeably above my knee, so fellow tall ladies might want to note that ‘knee length’ likely references to being knee length on ladies around 5 ft 5.
The length aside, it’s a lovely dress that lives up to its KD’s ‘easy dress’ claims. The Ruby dress aims to give you the look of a wrap dress without the fuss of one. That look is achieved by the crossover style of the bust meeting a fabric tie belt at the waist, but I wanted to show ladies who don’t like a fabric waist ties that this dress can still achieve a clean line by simply tying the belt in the back. As this Grecian Gardens version of the dress is sleeveless, you might also find that gives a cleaner line when pairing with a cropped cardigan while we wait for spring to allow us to rock it bare armed.
There’s no zippers or buttons in this dress as the stretch in the fabric is all that’s needed to pop it on over your head–it’s not a difficult task, but if you get paranoid about messing up your hair you might want to get dressed before you brush out your pincurls. I opted for this dress in an XL and it’s a wonderful fit, with the higher demure cut of the neckline meaning there’s no gaping at the bust like there can often be in true wrap dresses. It’s very true to the size chart, with the waist flat measuring 37 inches with stretch to easily reach 39 inches or more, while the bust accommodates 44-46 inches at least (and I suspect larger.) Fellow tall ladies might be interested to note that the skirt flat measures 23.5 inches, hence falling above my knee, as I typically need 25-26 inches at least for knee coverage. A very slim petticoat might fit under the skirt to give you a little lift off the leg, but I don’t own any slim enough or short enough to test that theory.
Karina Dresses do offer often longer styles, most notably the Margaret, but that shorter knee lengths of many of their other styles will work perfectly for petite pinups and ladies who just find the longer length of full skirted vintage style pieces overwhelming or too ‘extra.’ All of their styles have modest necklines, making them work appropriate. I know the comfort and easy-to-wear style of this dress will make it one of my ‘on and out the door’ go-to pieces, as well as a relief to wear in summer if this year sees a repeat of last year’s heatwaves.
The Grecian Gardens Ruby dress is available in sizes XS-XXL and Karina Dresses ship internationally.